BMW are planning to nearly double their sales by 2020, primarily via a big push into North and South America, and the first machine they hope will help them on their way is this US-style ‘bagger’ – the new BMW K1600B. RealRiders first caught sight of the new tourer earlier this year and it’s due to be publicly unveiled at next month’s Milan Show. But we was officially shown the new machine early at an exclusive event in LA last week.
Boasting the same chassis and engine package as the rest of the K16 range, meaning that stunning six-cylinder engine and 160bhp, but now featuring swooping bodywork that wouldn’t look too out of place in the 1920s. From the highest point, the bodywork slides away towards the rear with a teardrop silhouette and streamliner style to deep-set side cases with integrated rear lights, beneath which sit new fully chrome-plated silencers that run parallel to the road.
The New BMW K1600B also comes with BMW’s electronically controlled Dynamic ESA suspension, and in standard Road mode damping adaptation it’s fully automated, offering the very highest level of performance. In addition, there’s a Cruise mode, which is all about comfort. There’s also a new optional reverse assist feature for easier manoeuvring, and Shift Assist Pro for clutchless shifting up and down through the gearbox.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member responsible for BMW cars, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW bikes, told us that despite six consecutive sales records, the firm had ambitious plans to raise global sales from the 136,000 expected this year to over 200,000 by 2020.
BMW are now the market leader in the 500cc+ category in 27 countries worldwide. “The US market is currently our second biggest after Germany,” added Stefan Schaller, head of BMW Motorrad. “We aim to double our American market share by 2020.”
And he added that other initiatives to grow American sales included developing more US-specific models such as this new BMW K1600B, which is set to rival bikes like Harley’s class-leading Street Glide and Honda’s cut-down Goldwing, the similarly six-cylinder F6B and to expand its dealer network.